Aug 19, 2011

Interview with Teen Eyes, part deux

Aaaaannnndd, we're back with another edition of the Teen Eyes interview, part deux. Yesterday we learned the reading habits of the lovely Kate and Taryn, their ambitions and whatnot. Today we're delving ever deeper into their tortured writerly lives to discover what critique services they offer and their sterling credentials. Oh, and also how to survive on a desert island with just a monkey and a ball.

8. Tell us more about Teen Eyes - why you think you're qualified and what you offer. (Obviously, this is all on your site but a quick bullet list is helpful.)
Taryn: As a lit agency intern, voracious reader, and critique partner of writers with book deals and agents, something about the way I critique is working. But Teen Eyes is about more than a critique--it's about something only a teen can give: what your future reader would like to see. Obviously teen tastes vary, so I try to look at manuscripts with a general teen view rather than my preferences.
Here are the services we offer:
-Reader Report: We read straight through the MS without leaving in-text notes. On a separate document, I write my thoughts as I go as a sort of "live reaction" thing. Then, after I'm done, I write a couple pages about plot, pacing, characters, premise, writing, and any other thoughts.
-In-depth critique: This means in-text comments about everything in the reader report, just more specific.
-Line edits: Grammar, word flow, etc. The mechanics.
-Query/synopsis help: this is free :)
-Double Teen'd: Kate and I will both critique your manuscript for a discount of our combined prices.

Kate: Although you initially have to impress editors and agents, your ultimate goal is for your story to resonate with teenagers. The ability to connect with your audience will determine whether or not your book will sell once published.

Good point, mes amies. (snuck a bit of HS French in there, as I am wont to do when excited.)

9. Do you offer a time guarantee with Teen Eyes - ie, you promise to respond a week out, etc. (OR - brain flash - you could charge MORE money for a faster crit. Hmmm. I'm a marketing genius.)
Taryn: We do! If you purchase our services, you will receive your critique in 5-7 days (depending on the service).

Kate: What she said.

10. Explain WHY we elderly folk should choose you to critique our MS.
Taryn: While there may be more experienced editors out there, Kate and I have the most valuable commodity in YA: the right age, in addition to publishing and writing experience. It comes down to two things: you're writing for a market of teens, and your characters are teens. To have the most realistic story which can speak to the most readers, you need to have a teen tell you if it works.

Kate: Since Taryn already went over the packages we offer, I’ll just state my credentials. Like Taryn, I’m a critique partner of writers with book deals and agents. In May 2011 I signed with Edward Necarsulmer IV of McIntosh and Otis. My debut YA novel, currently untitled, is undergoing revisions at Scholastic Press and I spent the summer as an intern at Scholastic in NYC. My experience at Scholastic has given me a unique insight into the publication/editorial process. And lastly, I’m a teenager. Taryn and I offer a dual perspective - we are both strong writers/critiquers, yet we are also part of your future audience.

Not to mention inexpensive. At least for now! *stares creepily into distance* I see greeeaat futures for these young females.

Fun, fluffy questions of no particular purpose to which you give witty, optionally truthful and erudite answers - pick as many as you want. Except 7. That one's mandatory bc I need suggestions for my Netflix queue. :)

1. If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you sink your teeth into?
Taryn: I hate vampires. And I don't do celebrities.

Kate: I’m also not a huge vampire fan, but if I had to choose I’d say Orlando Bloom.

2. What's your middle name? Your REAL middle name.
Taryn: Amelia. After Amelia Earhart.
Kate: Marie.

Well, those are better than my middle name. Which I'm not telling. But it rhymes with marmalade.

3. You're stranded on an island. You have a monkey and a ball. A ship passes by. How will you attract attention?
Taryn: Swim out to it. Says the swimmer.
Kate: Swim out to it. Drown.

But you have a monkey and a BALL. No flippers. The ship isn't going to see your tiny head bobbing in the ocean before a shark eats you. Make the MONKEY swim out to the ship. If it dies, at least you still have Wilson the ball.

4. What secretly scares you?
Taryn: Falling. And sharks. So maybe that swim-to-ship thing wouldn't be so smart.
Kate: Failing, serial killers, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. I’m a somewhat irrationally anxious person.

Talking balls scare me. Wait...did I write that out loud?

5. Describe your best friend in five words.
Taryn: Too independent / no time for one. (That's six. Oops.)

Kate: Skinny dipping caffeinated dance parties.

6. What's your current fav song? And the one stuck in your head most often?
Taryn: I don't really care about music. I'll listen to whatever's on. That said, I like country b/c most songs tell a story.

Kate: Similarly, I’m not a huge music person, nor am I picky about what I listen to. But I’d have to say a Disney song (Mulan, Hercules) or a song from my mom’s band, Stonecircle, which is Celtic fusion (Celtic music mixed with contemporary/jazz/classical styles). if someone wrote a country-style Disney song in a Celtic-fusion style, you guys would listen?

7. What's the best movie you've watched this summer?
Taryn: CAPTAIN AMERICA. I went because my parents made me and OMG IT WAS AMAZING.

Kate: I’m going to have to go with Harry Potter on this one. End of an era.

Oh, HP. We mourn thee.

So be sure to stop by the blogs of Taryn and Kate to see what awesomeness they can inject into your MS!


Carrie Butler said...

Great interview, Melodie! It seems I have two new blogs to follow. :D

Kate Coursey said...

Thanks so much for the interview, Melodie!!!